USA Today 10 Best - Florida Festivals & Events
Get a taste of Florida at one of the state's top food and wine festivals
10 fantastic fests for foodies
By Cele and Lynn Seldon AUGUST 3, 2021
The Sunshine State knows a thing or two about food and wine. From sumptuous seafood to amazing agriculture – and a thirst that comes from tropical breezes and abundant sunshine – there is a proliferation of food and wine festivals across both coasts that celebrate Florida’s bounty. From four-football-field-long grand tastings on the beach to exclusive wine auctions, along with some roll-up-your-sleeves seafood, and strut-your-stuff chapeaux competitions, food and wine festivals are a great excuse to head to sunny Florida. Take a bite out of these ten tasty festivals.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort July 15-November 20, 2021 - Lake Buena Vista Tasty treats, wines, beers and other beverages from around the world are featured at the park's World Showcase pavilion throughout the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort — Photo courtesy of Harrison Cooney Breaking with the weekend-long trend, Walt Disney World’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival offers up a full fall season of global culinary creations. Highlights include more than 20 global and specialty food kiosks and cafés throughout the park (with more to come October 1 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney World); wine, beer and spirits offerings (more than 120 beverages); and complimentary live music concerts.
Pensacola Seafood Festival September 24-26, 2021 - Pensacola A Lowcountry boil is just one of many dishes highlighting Gulf Coast seafood at the Pensacola Seafood Festival — Photo courtesy of Visit Pensacola The Pensacola Seafood Festival celebrates the seafood bounty of the Gulf Coast when people come out to shuck, slurp, peel and dive into mouthwatering creations. With Southern, Cajun, French and Spanish culinary influences in the region, local seafood favorites like shrimp, crab, clams and fish take on an international flavor, along with cooking demonstrations, live music, lots of kids' activities and one of Northwest Florida’s largest arts and crafts fairs.
Paradise Coast Wine + Food Experience October 2, 2021 - Naples The Grand Tasting at Paradise Coast Wine + Food Experience is a culinary who's who of local, regional and national chefs — Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Part of a six-city tour, the Paradise Coast Wine + Food Experience in Naples is a backstage pass to the celebrity world of chefs, mixologists, winemakers and more with tastes from dozens of the top restaurants in town. The Grand Tasting is a gourmet who’s who of local chefs, up-and-coming talent and national culinary glitterati mixing and mingling. Pony up for VIP status with one-hour early admittance.
Florida Winefest & Auction October 22-24, 2021 - Sarasota The elegant Truffle Brunch garden party is a highlight at Sarasota's Florida Winefest and Auction — Photo courtesy of Cliff Roles Florida Winefest & Auction raises a glass (and funds) for dozens of charities for its 30-year celebration, starting with an online auction October 10-24 that features collectible wines, lavish chef dinners, art, jewelry, vacations and travel packages. The rest of the weekend features tasty events under the tents at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, including a perfectly paired seven-course Banquet on the Bay, an elegant Truffle Brunch garden party and a rockin’ Wine & Rock ‘n Roll on the Bay.
Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival December 9-12, 2021 - Palm Beach Held at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach's poolside terrace, Indulge is a perennial favorite at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival — Photo courtesy of Michael Pisarri Held in tony Palm Beach, there is no shortage of high-end vintners, celebrity chefs, gourmet gastronomy and idyllic settings at the four-day Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival. From four-course wine lunches and dinners, exclusive wine tastings, kids' cooking classes and front porch barbecues, to epic tasting events at the Four Seasons Resort, The Colony Hotel and the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa and a family-friendly finale at Rosemary Square, it’s where the top restaurants, TV food shows, magazines and cookbooks come to life.
Key West Food & Wine Festival January 26-30, 2022 - Key West The Feté en Blanc is an all-white affair on the water, complete with an opera singer — Photo courtesy of Terry Martin Filled with character (and characters), the Key West Food & Wine Festival Presented by Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty features unique tastings, gourmet galas, tours, seminars like “Screw It,” and only-in-Key-West funky events. Past affairs have included the The Absinthe of Ernest, Fetè en Blanc (an all-white affair over the water complete with opera), Wine on the Roof wine stroll, the “Let Them Eat Cake” French Revolution masquerade party, Poke in the Rear sake tasting and the Turtles & Sharks & Mermaids “Oh My” Grand Tasting.
30A Wine Festival February 23-27, 2022 - Alys Beach Oysters & Champagne, Bourbon, Beer & Butts and an extensive Grand Tasting are just a few of the events at the 30A Wine Festival — Photo courtesy of Alys Beach Bringing renowned vintners and esteemed culinary personalities to Florida’s Northwest coastline, 30A Wine Festival hosts five days of gourmet bites and luscious sips. The festival kicks off with an intimate multi-course wine dinner, followed by an “Oysters & Champagne” gathering, a Rum Dinner, the educational Mixology seminar, “Bourbon, Beer & Butts” featuring food and drink from some of the country’s top pit masters and craft bourbon distillers and breweries, the Grand Tasting and Sunday’s two beloved events: the Gospel Brunch and “Rosé & Croquet” brunch.
Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One February 24-27, 2022 - Miami Beach The Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village is four football fields long and is the highlight of SOBEWFF — Photo courtesy of Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Overflowing with Food Network stars and their fans, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One is the mother lode of Florida food festivals with over 100 events from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. The two-day oceanfront Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village is the highlight. It's an oceanfront gourmet celebration approximately four football fields long filled with culinary demos, book signings, celebrity sightings, and tastes and sips from more than 50 restaurants.
SAVOR SoFLO April 30-May 1, 2022 - Hollywood Beach SAVOR SoFLO is a feast for foodies, wine loves and craft beer aficionados — Photo courtesy of SAVOR SoFLO
Exciting the palate with a showcase of food, wine, craft beers and culinary expertise, SAVOR SoFLO also excites the senses with 180˚ views of the Atlantic Ocean from the 2.5-mile Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.
Combining local rock star chefs, wine specialists and brew masters with national brand partners, culinary competitions, cooking demos, and free-flowing food and libations, this newer entry in the food & wine festival circuit is the hippest ticket for foodies, wine lovers and craft beer aficionados.
St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival May 5-8, 2022 - St. Augustine, Florida Great tastes of food and wine pair perfectly with great friends at the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival — Photo courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com With the success of last years’ inaugural event, the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival is back and filled with flavorful and educational experiences at the World Golf Village on Florida’s Historic Coast.
The weekend features a six-course winemaker dinner prepared by celebrity guest chefs and local culinary experts, Epicurean Master Classes with the area’s finest chefs, as well as the Festival Main Event, a lively afternoon of culinary and beverage tastings and live music along the World Golf Hall of Fame Walk of Champions.